As a dietitian interested in technology I’m often asked to recommend an app for that. But until today, there wasn’t a “must have” on my list that I would tell EVERYONE to get. Yes EVERYONE. And it’s free. So drum roll please as we officially welcome GS1 GoScan – Australia’s first whole-of‐industry app that enables users to know if a food product fits their dietary needs with a simple scan of a barcode. Yes that’s right. One quick scan and you’re good to go. Or warned if not. Interested? I caught up with Accredited Practising Dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan, spokesperson for GS1 GoScan, for the scoop:
It even catches the batch….
Jo and I were lucky to have access to prototype versions of this ‘extended labeling’ app on our smart phones and over a glass of wine, got more and more excited as we shared what we loved about it.
First of all GS1 GoScan will provide you with authorised and trusted nutrition, dietary and allergen information directly from the food and beverage manufacturer or brand owner. There are already more than 70 brands on board and thousands of products on its database. The app provides information directly from the manufacturers and brand owners and will be continuously updated – you are getting accurate info based on the exact batch number. It was also developed in consultation with the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australian Universities and organisations such as Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia and Coeliac Australia.
Joanna says, “The ability to have a better understanding of what is in food products from a reliable source - the manufacturers and brand owners themselves – is a great step forward for all Australians with special dietary needs or an interest in health and nutrition.” All of the product data provided by brand owners undergoes data validation checks before it is accepted onto the GS1 GoScan databases and made accessible to consumers. This ensures the greatest level of data accuracy and completeness.
All you need to do……
Simply scan the product bar code, key in the bar code number or browse by product description, brand or category and you will instantly receive product information to help you make more informed food choices for your dietary and lifestyle requirements. Better still, the GS1 GoScan application settings can be personalised to receive alerts based on your specific allergens or dietary requirements. It also uses iOS accessibility options and provides voice over facilities, enabling the visually impaired to access product label information more easily.
“National research commissioned by not-for-profit organisation GS1 Australia and released today reveals that Australians are finding following their diet difficult with 63% saying grocery shopping takes too long when you have to read every food label and half admitting that the information on food labels is too technical for them. The app will greatly streamline the process and assist product selection for individuals with allergies, intolerances, special diets (such as vegan, organic, vegetarian, halal or kosher), or simply an interest in nutrition information,” says Joanna. We also agreed that it will be a valuable tool in a dietitian’s tool box. And I know many of our chefs will love it too for those retail grocery products that make their way into the dry store.
GS1 GoScan is available for free download right now in the App store in Australia and New Zealand – just scanned my morning oats! For more information visit www.goscan.com.au. Dietitians and industry professionals can sign up for a free training webinar from 28 March here. Plus there is an extensive YouTube channel with training videos and more. So what are you waiting for? Love to hear what you think, once you’ve returned from the app store.